‘Outstanding’ community response restocks foodbank

The shelves of the local foodbank, which were almost empty at the end of last month, are now filled to capacity, with boxes and bags piled high to take the overflow – the result of an outstanding response to a story in the last issue of Hibiscus Matters.

Hibiscus Coast Community House in Western Reserve, Orewa, operates the foodbank that distributes food parcels via agencies such as Women’s Refuge, Parent Aid and WINZ to local families in need.

It is stocked by public donations and the Community House also buys items from the proceeds of its second hand store.

The foodbank faced low stocks of basic items at its busiest time of year – something that also happened last Christmas, as demand for food parcels outstripped supply. On both occasions, the community immediately responded to refill stocks.

Manager Christine Aleslbury says volunteers were inundated with goods following the story in the December 1 edition of Hibiscus Matters.

“Once again this community has worked its magic,” Christine says. “It was an overwhelming response. We have heard from people as far away as Wairau Park who read the article.”

She says the best thing was that people took note of the specific items needed.

Donations included cash from a resident who gave $500 to buy all the chickens needed for Christmas food parcels. Local company Neville Bros also offered to spend $500 on groceries. Pak ‘n’ Save in Wairau Road on the North Shore donated groceries and gift cards valued at $2500.

“We also had someone come in with a donation who said they had once been in the position of needing help from an organization like this and wanted to pay it forward,” Christine says. “Another person gave us the proceeds of selling a school uniform on Trade Me.”

Local churches including St Andrews, Red Beach and Manly Methodist, St Stephens and St Chads also contributed donations from parishioners.

The supplies will go into food parcels designed to provide Christmas treats and also to see families through the Christmas and New Year period.

The Hibiscus Coast Community House foodbank closes from December 19–January 9. Peninsula drop off option

Residents of Whangaparaoa who want to make donations to the foodbank can now do so, but without having to travel in to Orewa. All about People, in Manly Village is offering to accept donations this week (until December 19) and will ensure they are delivered to the foodbank. Items can be brought to the All about People office at 49 Rawhiti Rd (next to Jambalaya), during working hours (8.30am–5pm) and placed in a box in the foyer.